Monthly Archives: June 2015

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Professional Books for Summer Reading


It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers

With summer just around the corner and the school year coming to an end, I’m excited about the thought of having a little  more  time to catch up on summer reading.  Part of that includes my pursuit of the latest and greatest professional books that will help me in my goal of “reflecting and refining” my teaching practices.  Here are the books I’m excited about reading this summer…


The Reading Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers – Jennifer Serravallo

First on my list is Jennifer Serravallo’s new book from Heinemann.  I first learned about this book from my wonderful far-away teacher friend Sharee Gaiser.  She shared the book with me on Facebook and told me she was making many connections to my book  Reading Power.  So now I’m excited and curious about reading it!  Jennifer Serravallo has a few other books that also look interesting – one on small group instruction and another on conferencing.  Watch a short video clip of Jen talking about how her books go together.


Grammar Matters: Lessons, Tips and Conversations Using Mentor Texts K-6 by Lynne Dorfman and Diane Dougherty

I often have teachers ask me for references for grammar books.  While I am not a big supporter of grammar excercises in isolation, children do need to learn correct usage and structure of the language within the context of their writing.  So when I saw this new book by the authors of Mentor Texts, Nonfiction Mentor Texts and Poetry Mentor Texts – all three are well used books in my professional collection – I was very excited!    This book is a handy reference for helping students learn about parts of speech, idioms, usage issues, and punctuation and, like their other books, uses specific mentor texts (picture books) to support the lessons.  Who knew I could get excited about teaching grammar?!

59 Reasons to Write: Mini Lessons, Prompts, and Inspiration for Teachers Kate Messner

 “One of the greatest gifts of writing is the way it nudges us to look more closely not only at the world but also at ourselves.”   I  love everything Kate Messner writes -her picture books, her novels and her professional books.  She is my hero!  This book grew out of Messner’s popular online summer writing camp, Teachers Write.  It is her strong belief that if we are going to help our students to be writers, we (teachers) need to be writers ourselves.


The Unstoppable Writing Teacher – M. Colleen Cruz

Isn’t this a GREAT title?  And cover?  And if that weren’t enough – forward by Lucy Calkins?   “Veteran teacher and author Colleen Cruz takes|common concerns, struggles, and roadblocks that we all face in writing instruction and helps us engage in the process of problem solving each one.”  This one is a MUST read for me this summer!

                                             22775554      thinking

Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners.

Creating Cultures of Thinking:  The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools

by Ron Ritchhart

Yes, it still is and always will be about thinking for me!  I discovered this author by accident when I was presenting at SENSE Charter School in Indianapolis last month.  Making Thinking Visible was sitting on a table and I was immediately drawn to the title because thinking and metacognition is at the center of all that I believe.  I’m looking forward to hearing his message in both of these books.


Reading Nonfiction:  Notice and Note – Signposts and Questions – Kylene Beers & Robert Probst

 I met Kylene Beers and Bob Probst at a reading conference in Saskatchewan last year and heard them speak about their previous book Notice and Note: Strategies for Close ReadingIn this book, I learned about their term “signposts” – places in text that alert readers to significant moments readers need to “notice and note”, then question and explore them through their own interpretations.  I’m eagerly awaiting the release of their new book, which will not be until October (but I’m including it on my list anyway) and learning about Nonfiction “signposts”!

well played

Well Played: Building Mathematical Thinking Through Number Games and Pictures Gr. 3-5    

             Linda Dacey, Karen Gartland, and Jayne Bamford Lynch

I make an effort to move out of my comfort zone and read ONE non literacy book every year.  I am the first to admit that Math is not one of my strong subject areas so this book looks like a perfect choice – and it has “thinking” in the title!  (This book comes out June 30th)

So there you have it…. my list of professional reads for the summer!  I may not get through them all but I’m going to try!

What professional books are in your TBR pile this summer?


Filed under It's Monday, Professional Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Reading Power – Reflecting and Refining


It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers


Reading Power – 1st Edition 2006 Pembroke (Canada)/ Stenhouse (US)

Reading Power_2nd ed.comp 5

Reading Power 2nd Edition Fall 2015 (fingers crossed!) Pembroke (Canada)/Stenhouse (US)

Well I have to admit that my picture book reading has been minimal these past few weeks because I’ve been busy reading (and re-reading and re-reading!) my own book!   After nearly 10 years since it was first released, I am in the process of writing the 2nd edition of Reading Power.  Ten years????  Really???  It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since Reading Power was launched into the world!  From it’s start on a napkin in my friend’s kitchen to now – a lot has changed!   It is a very interesting process to go back to my own book and read my original thoughts and ideas about Reading Power when it was just in the beginning stages.  After so many years of teaching and talking about Reading Power, much of my thinking has evolved.  Some of the things I deemed as important then are not as important now, while other things are.  While the basic foundation remains, there is a lot of new thinking and new ideas about purpose and pedagogy.  As I like to tell teachers in my workshops – best practice evolves from reflecting and refining.  And that is just what I hope this 2nd edition is going to be – reflecting and refining my thinking about comprehension instruction and what we, as teachers, can do to help our students develop as thinkers of text as well as decoders of text. Yes, it is still all about thinking!  So I am busy writing new lessons, creating new templates, and, of course, updating my list of anchor books for each strategy (my favorite part!)  My deadline to finish?  July 10th!  Wish me luck!

Hopefully the 2nd edition will be released sometime this fall!  I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks for stopping by!


Filed under New Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Summer Preview – Part 2



It’s Monday and I’mIt’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week. Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers

This week, I am highlighting the rest of my list of summer previews!  In case you missed it, you can read Summer Previews – Part 1 here.


Dewey Bob – Judy Byron Schachner

This looks like it will be a charming book about a sweet raccoon who lives by himself with his many collections of treasures but is missing a friend.


Little Miss, Big Sis – Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Anything written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a winner – and with illustrations by Peter. H. Reynolds this is one to watch for!  The story explores the wonders of becoming a big sister and celebrating the arrival of a new baby into the family.


Water is Water – Miranda Paul

A beautiful, descriptive look at the water cycle.  This one is not only one to use for science but also a beautiful example of descriptive language and sensory images.


Rude Cakes – Rowboat Watkins

Who knew cakes were so rude?   A wacky book about manners.  This one looks like it will bring some laughs!


One Word From Sophia – Jim Averbeck

Sophia desperately wants a pet giraffe and tries varied techniques to convince her parents to get her one for her birthday. Looks playful and fun and will be a great addition to my list of “persuasive” anchor books!


What Pet Should I Get? – Dr. Seuss

A never-before-seen book by Dr. Seuss about a brother and sister trying to decide what pet to buy from the pet store.  I can’t wait to read this one!


I Yam a Donkey! – Cece Bell

Hysterical and silly look at grammar as a Yam lectures a clueless and grammatically challenged donkey.   A perfect book for all ages – great in an English class to discuss importance of using proper grammar.


Maple and Willow Apart – Lori Nichols

I’m looking forward to reading this third book in the charming  Maple and Willow series.  In this book, Willow has to adjust when Maple starts school.  I love the artwork in these books and the strong sibling bond.


Sea Rex – Molly Idle

I love everything Molly Idle writes.  I fell in love with Flora as she danced with a Flamingo and skated with a Penguin and am now looking forward to Cordelia swimming with her Sea Rex friend.


Something Extraordinary Ben Clanton

This looks like it will be a great anchor book for writing!  Have you ever wished for something extraordinary? Like the ability to fly? Or to breathe underwater? What if you could talk to animals?  What would you wish for?


Piper Green and the Fairy Tree – Ellen Potter

This is the first in a new early chapter book series about a girl who says everything that’s on her mind (for better or worse) and has something unusual in her front yard: a fairy tree. I’m sure this will be a popular one at my school!

Big Dog and Little Dog (Reader) – Dav Pilkey

This series originally came out as board books but are now available as Level 1 readers.   Looks like a sweet series by the master of the super wedgie!

Thanks for stopping by!  Which book or books have caught your eye?


Filed under It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, New Books